The City of Burien announced on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 that it will be closing the Burien Community Center Annex, “because initial inspections have found significant concerns with the structural integrity of the building.”
The City hired MENG Analysis to conduct an examination of the Annex in order to provide an assessment of the condition of its roof, chimney, boiler, HVAC, air quality, electrical, foundation, and other fixtures. The City undertook this evaluation in order to inform the City’s decisions moving forward as to whether the Annex is salvageable or should be demolished.
The consultant delivered a verbal assessment of the condition of the Annex to City officials on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, reporting that while the Annex presents no immediate health, life, and safety danger, the building’s chimney, ventilation, plumbing, boiler, electrical, and ventilation systems are in serious need of repair and/or replacement. The extent to which these repairs are necessary may result in the City making a decision to demolish the building. The final report from MENG Analysis detailing the condition of the building will be published mid-January on the City’s website.
This closure will leave at least seven tenant organizations without a home – several of which have been there for many years – including:
- Burien Actors Theatre
- Hi-Liners Musical Theatre
- Para los Niños
- Burien Cooperative Preschool
- Transform Burien
- Meals on Wheels
- Journey Arts and Crafts
The City says it will not be renewing the facility lease agreements – which end Dec. 31, 2019 – with these organizations.
The organizations must be out of the building by Jan. 31, 2020.
“These organizations provide tremendous value to the Burien community and we recognize the impact this will have on the people they serve,” said Brian J. Wilson, Burien City Manager. “We will make every effort to help the organizations find a new location.”
This assistance could potentially be accomplished by allowing them use of other City facilities or City staff helping identify local real estate for rent.
BURIEN ACTORS THEATRE STATEMENT
On Monday afternoon, BAT released the following statement on its Facebook page:
“You may have heard the City of Burien terminated BAT’s lease. We will finish The Christmas Spirit. We intend to move Rocky Horror Show and The Good Framer off-site.
“We are sad Burien did not believe in theater and the arts enough to work with BAT to find a solution.
“BAT survived a fire, we will survive this too. If you know of a City that wants a turnkey theater, let BAT know.
“Here is the Burien City Council email: email@example.com, ask them to let us finish our season in our home of 40 years.”
Here’s some backstory on the Annex from the city:
History of the Burien Community Center Annex
Chelsea Park Elementary School was built on former farm and residential land. The school was constructed in the late 1940s to relieve overcrowding at Lake Burien, Hazel Valley, and Sunnydale Elementary Schools. Chelsea Park School closed in 1976.
With funding from the 1968 Forward Thrust Parks and Recreation bond, the former school building was converted to the Highline Community Center and was managed by the King County Parks Department. Once the City of Burien incorporated in 1993, ownership of the buildings and grounds transferred to the City and it became the Burien Community Center. For many years, it served as the offices of the Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department (PaRCS).
In 2010, the City relocated the PaRCS department to the former Burien Library building at 14700 6th Ave SW, which the City had acquired several years earlier. The former library building became the new Burien Community Center. This left the former building in need of a new name, and it was then renamed the Community Center Annex, or simply “The Annex.”
Nonprofit organizations have worked out of the building for decades.
The Burien Annex is located at 14501 4th Ave SW: